This week’s challenge was quiet interesting. The class was introduced to notion of creative process and what it means to get $#!T done or make things happen. Two main resources we used was this pretty cool lecture on creativity by John Cleese. It is little dated, but is content still very accurate and applicable to today’s needs. Which makes this resource pretty valuable and timeless.
The second resource was the book called Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky, founder and CEO of Behance. As a side note for those not familiar with Behance, it is an online portfolio platform where artists showcase their work and I’ll explain the importance of this shortly. In his book, Scott talks about the process of putting ideas into actionable steps that lead to measurable results. The goal was to analyze our personal creative process and draw parallels or conclusions between ideas and examples given and the real life.
While the completion of this task wasn’t really a huge time commitment per say, for me personally it was the contradictions I encountered that took the most time to analyze and synthesize. The main hold up was getting stuck on the definition of “Creativity”. What does it mean to be creative? To create it means to bring something to existence or cause something to happen. It’s a series of steps, also known as process. However often to be considered as a creative professional, it means to be known as an artist, someone who uses their right side of the brain more heavily than the left. But does that mean that someone who works in mathematical formulas and algorithms isn’t creative? Someone who creates web sites or video games we subconsciously gravitate to? I would say that’s the master level of creativity.Personally I believe that where we all function is a balance of art and science, balance between left and right side of the brain. Alternating what we relay on more based on what is needed. I at least tend to function somewhere in the middle (many tests have shown that too).
I feel like John Cleese talked more about true sense of creativity, when one sits down and comes up with new ideas or solutions for everyday needs. But he also talked about importance of having a process built around each idea. Because without a process an idea is just a thought.
When I started reading the book Making Ideas Happen I realized that Scott Belsky focused on describing an organizational framework used by or needed for sole entrepreneurs, artist, freelances (he also talked a lot about changing landscape of workforce and demand for part time or timed residency/ tenure in a position). What I found missing is representation of creatives like me, someone who is an artist but works for a commercial institution so to say. Where my ideas become proprietary ownership of my employer and where my creativity isn’t free flowing but is specific to needs of the business I am responsible for.
Does that make me less creative than let’s say a painter who showcases his/ her paintings in a gallery?
No, I may actually have to be more creative in figuring out how to solve problems on hand and do so while having fun. My freedom to play may be limited and focused but my results may be broad reaching. The painter may or may not sell a single painting and may not be able to pay rent. I may contribute 80 million dollars in in sales in just one cycle (3 months) in one garment design (a dress let’s say). I take pride in what I do. My art hangs on a hanger at retail, and many people buy it. I see it on the street, in classrooms or out in restaurants. Sometimes I see it in the news or worn by an actor/ actress on a favorite show on TV. And even the former FLOTUS! Imagine my excitement to know that I a refugee, an immigrant, designed something the first lady of THE USA wore publicly 3 times!.
So it’s fair to say I was little let down by the book. Not that that this book is bad. I actually went so far to read the whole book before completing this post in hopes it would shed some light on actual process of artistic creativity and finding inspiration over and over vs focusing on maximizing productivity and output. I feel the book was focused more on the latter. Personally I couldn’t really relate to examples given. I probably associate the most with the example of Jonathan Harris when it comes to soliciting feedback, follow through, executing, maximizing productivity and continuously delivering successful results. However I am not the owner of my own ideas and that is something I would like to pursue in the future. Maybe add a platform to my business portfolio where I own my own intellectual property, write a book or play in a related but not conflicting creative field.